WASHINGTON DEPT. OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Olympia Seeks Answers - And Maybe A Ban - On Atlantic Salmon Farms

Officials with the company that spilled nearly 160,000 Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound in August say there has been no evidence the spill has done damage to the sound. State officials agreed with that assessment at a legislative hearing in Olympia.

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Don Ryan / Associated Press

 

The federal government approved plans on Friday for a controversial transmission line that would cross public lands in eastern Oregon into southwestern Idaho.   

The Bureau of Land Management decision means that Idaho Power will now have right-of-way on federal lands for the 300-mile project.

Idaho Power officials called the decision a “significant milestone” for the Boardman to Hemingway project. The transmission line will span public, private and state lands.

Markus Schreiber / Associated Press

Washington will soon have nearly $113 million to spend on cleaner transportation technologies. The money comes from the national settlement with Volkswagen, after it admitted to installing illegal software in some diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests. The state department of Ecology was charged with creating a spending plan, which is now out for public comment. Air quality program manager Stu Clark said they’re looking for ways to leverage the spending and leapfrog to cleaner technologies that would last for 50 or 100 years.

A section of Washington state highway south of Spokane will be renamed to honor the victim of a school shooting earlier this fall.

A 13-mile stretch of State Route 27, which runs past Freeman High School, will have official signage marking it as the Sam Strahan Memorial Highway.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is one of the government watchdogs monitoring the cleanup of the Hanford nuclear reservation. But recently the EPA’s Hanford office has shrunk in half.

Washington state lawmakers will likely have to come up with an extra $1 billion for schools when they convene in January for the 2018 session.

The Washington Supreme Court issued a unanimous order Wednesday that said the state is not on track to fully fund public schools by a court-imposed deadline of September 1, 2018.

October's California wine country wildfires damaged more than 30 wineries. Now, the Northwest wine industry and wine drinkers are stepping up to with their wallets to help.

The statewide unemployment rate in Washington again touched a record low of 4.5 percent in October. That's according to the Washington Employment Security Department, which has been tracking the number since the mid-1970s.

Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has agreed to pay a $1,000 civil penalty to the state of Oregon for ethics violations. Kitzhaber agreed to the penalty after a review by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

U.S. Forest Service

Burn scars left after major wildfires can look pretty bleak.  But take a couple million steps back and you’ll find those fires aren’t keeping up with the natural filling-in of forest vegetation.

New research out of Oregon State University makes the case that considering the big picture is important to our understanding of fire in our region.

WSDOT/FLICKR

Beginning next year, Washington state Senators and Senate staff will be required to take annual sexual harassment training. The Senate’s operations committee unanimously approved that requirement at a meeting Tuesday night.

Republican state Senator Joe Fain told his colleagues there needs to be immediate action to address the workplace climate at the Capitol.

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